During the second world war when I was about three years old my parents thought it would be safer for me to leave London and live with my mother's parents in Bedlinog. We lived in the High Street and I have such happy memories with my grandparents, Tom and Hannah Blackwell. I remember shopping daily with my grandmother, going to the Co-op (Station Terrace??), the butchers near the top of the High Street, and post office - what a climb to the top - and an icecream parlour called, I think, Lanzo's. There was also a little corner shop run by Mrs Jones nearby. I attended the infants school at the bottom of the Coombe Hill when I was old enough and my teacher was called Miss Jenkins. I thought she was quite beautiful!! I can still remember the smell of the chalk and polish! We had to have a rest on small mats during the afternoons and then sing a song that started 'When the day is over' before we went home. We didn't use the Coome Hill to get to school but walked through Chapel Street and down the Co-op Fields. I can't remember making any particular friends in school but remember the name Ann Evans - she had short auburn hair. We lived opposite the Mariah Chapel which I used to attend on Sundays with my grandmother - she used to keep me supplied with mint imperials to keep me quiet!
Special treats were, going to Ponty market, a very occasional visit to Cardiff and, best of all a trip to Barry in the summer. My grandfather made a lot of my toys, he was very clever with wood, but I wasn't allowed to play 'skipping' on the front path on Sundays. Instead my grandmother taught me how to sew and knit!
I must have been a sensitive little thing because I remember loving the different seasons and thought there was nothing more intoxicating (though I wouldn't have known the meaning of the word then!) than the earthy smells in the garden after the rain - particularly first thing in the morning. I still remember that smell - wish we could bottle it! Happy days . . .
A memory shared byon Jul 18th, 2008.
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